Can Rowan keep up with the Wyverns?


Click to follow
The Independent Online

After attending his last service in his post on Sunday, the Rowan Williams will be leaving Canterbury and become Cantabrigian as he heads to Cambridge University to become Master of the 584-year old Magdalene College.

According to alumni, the former Archbishop won't have to do too much hanging around with the rabble, especially at mealtimes. In the college's 16th century dining room, he'll sit at the top with the dons and PhD students, while undergraduates dine on long oak tables.

A bit more mingling may take place at the biennial Magdalene May Ball, a compulsory white-tie event hosted by the college Master. Williams, a one-time critic of British drinking laws, may be less than impressed, however, by the activities of college drinking clubs, the Belladonnas and the Wyverns. Their infamous booze intake has seen them make national headlines.

Magdalene was also the last all-male Cambridge college to accept women (in 1988), which makes it seem positively enlightened, compared to the women bishop-a-bannin' C of E General Synod. Most vitally of all, Williams –a Cambridge graduate – won't need to be told the most pertinent things about Magdalene – it's pronounced "Maudlyn", not Magdalene. And it's nothing to do with Magdelen College. Which is 65 miles west. In Oxford.